Hey there, it’s Sabrina! I don’t know about you, but I used to watch a lot of TV growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t spend my childhood glued to the screen, but I did watch a variety of shows that I very much enjoyed – some to extreme extents. I’m hoping that there’s some of you out there that liked or watched some of the shows that I did, and today I’m going to be matching books to them!
Before we get into the post, I do have two disclaimers. First, these aren’t going to be very close matches, especially considering most of the books I mention are not made for kids. And second, notice I used the word “matching” rather than “recommending” – I didn’t enjoy some of these books and wouldn’t necessarily suggest that you read them unless I knew they fit your taste.
CLASS OF THE TITANS + PERCY JACKSON
I’m really going to struggle to tell you exactly what all these tv shows are about, considering it has been a great many years since I watched them, but Class of the Titans is one that has stuck a little bit better than most – I can tell you it was about the descendants and/or chosen ones of some Greek Gods and that their aim was to stop Cronus. This means that of course my choice of book to match with it is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I’m sure I don’t need to explain the book to you, but I will anyway: it follows Percy, who is a demigod (though, of course, he didn’t ask to be one). There’s monsters, quests and lots of trouble, so it’s a very fun series.
THE SECRET SHOW + THE NATURALS
The Secret Show follows two spies and their (older) team as they try to thwart evil. I have two main memories of this show – first, the opening that involves an elderly lady and her fluffy bunnies being interrupted by spies, and second, the character Professor Professor always asking “Victor, are you still alive?”. I, obviously, thought these were both hilarious. Though I haven’t read The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes for a long time, I remember that it is about a group of gifted young people working with adults to catch criminals, and was a bit funny – so hopefully you can see why I connected these two together!
ART ATTACK + THE GALLERY OF UNFINISHED GIRLS
I think Art Attack is still running in some capacity, but I am specifically talking about the series when it was hosted by Neil Buchanan. I still have copies of some episodes taped on video, and my siblings and I try to watch one of the Christmas themed ones every year. We watched the show more often than we made things from it, but the giant artworks made with found materials were our favourite thing to imitate as kids. This is also the main feature of the show that has led me to connecting it with The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz, which involves a lot of artwork, some on a large scale.
H2O JUST ADD WATER + INGO
This was definitely one of my favourite TV shows growing up – I remember being stressed many times after school because if we didn’t hurry home I would miss the beginning of the new episode. The show is about three Australian girls that go to a mysterious island and the moon makes them into mermaids – so now, every time they touch water, they grow a tail. In case you were wondering, my favourite of the girls was Cleo 😛 Anyway, the book I’ve attached to this show is Ingo by Helen Dunmore. I read this book, and the rest of the series, in early high school so I remember very little about it, but I know it included a lot of mermaids and a lot of adventures.
ROUND THE TWIST + THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
I’m very sorry if you’ve seen this show and had forgotten about it. And I’m extra sorry if I’ve now brought its theme song to your mind because that song sticks and does not leave, lol. I think the show was actually based off of some Paul Jennings books that my brother owns but I have always refused to read. The series is described as comedy, but honestly it was a horror to me and inspired many a nightmare. Every episode, something freaky would happen to these kids and their dad living in an old lighthouse. My book pick for this is The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell, because it’s a collection of short stories that aren’t necessarily scary, but they can be very strange and unsettling – and I do actually highly recommend this book!
TOTALLY SPIES + THE CHEMIST
There were a few subjects I was very interested in as a kid: mermaids, fairies, witches and spies. Totally Spies was one of my favourite spy shows, along with Kim Possible – I still have videos and DVDs of some episodes. Totally Spies was a totally ridiculous show that I adored, following three teenage girls that secretly had to stop evildoers with the absolute weirdest world domination plots. My favourite was Sam! I never thought you would catch me talking about this book, but my match for this TV show is The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer. This follows an ex-spy/torturer who is on the run, and its plot is just weird enough for me to connect it with this show.
TINY PLANETS + SAGA
This TV show is intricately linked to my vague memories of a holiday my family went on when I was really young, maybe four or five. The theme song never fails to make me feel at peace, probably because of that. Tiny Planets follows two fluffy alien creatures that travel around their universe to different planets, exploring a new one every episode. It’s because of this traveling between planets aspect that I’ve matched it with the graphic novel series Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. There are also plenty of weird aliens in both series!
BLUE’S CLUES + FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST
Almost everyone knows Blue’s Clues, right? Every episode Blue the dog leaves paw prints on clues around the house to help Steve guess what she wants to tell him. There’s some fun little songs/chants featured in every episode, and I still hear the Mailtime one in my head sometimes when the postie delivers us letters. Essentially, every episode includes a mystery to be solved, so I have connected this show with the book Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda, which is a mystery that is largely set in a single room. The mystery also unfolds gradually over the course of the book, and if I remember correctly, each chapter is named after an item discovered in that single room – a bit like how paw prints are left on items in the Blue’s Clues house.
What do you think?
Are you familiar with any of these TV shows? What about the books? What was your favourite TV show as a kid? Let me know!